Green menace is now widespread in Western New York, but DEC says trees can be saved
Williamsville, N.Y. – The emerald ash borer has finally come to the Village of Williamsville.
The invasive species was spotted earlier this month in Glen Park, marking the first official sighting of the insect within village boundaries. The bug, known for boring into the trunks of ash trees and for causing their eventual destruction, is already considered to be widespread in other parts of the Town of Amherst and in surrounding towns.
“We knew the day was coming when the Emerald Ash Borer would infest our village trees,” Williamsville Deputy Mayor Christopher J. Duquin said. “The village has taken action to save the trees we can and we urge our homeowners with ash trees to do the same.”
There are just under 100 ash trees on municipal property, said Trustee Daniel O. DeLano, liaison to the village tree board. The village inoculated 78 of them two years ago on the streets and in three other village parks. A few are clustered in Glen Park, a prime recreational spot for village residents and visitors.
The shots typically last from one to three years and increase the chances that trees will survive an emerald ash borer infestation. Following the State DEC’s recommendation of removal and replacement, the village removed some ash trees over the past two years but has planted more than 1,000 trees since the October Storm of 2006.
“We were ahead of the curve when it came to preserving our tree canopy but if we had to take all of the ash trees down, it would noticeably impact the canopy,” DeLano said. “That’s why we are inoculating. We care about our trees in this village and we are doing everything we can to save these ash trees from the emerald ash borer. A healthy tree canopy is an important part of a beautiful, walkable village and adds quite a bit to property values.”
State officials have detected the emerald ash borer throughout Erie County, including in the Town of Amherst – which is heavily infested – as well as Clarence, the Tonawandas, Lancaster, Elma, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, parts of Buffalo and Lackawanna. The bug is expected to spread to other areas this summer as the temperatures rise.
Homeowners who want to save their trees should hire a certified arborist to inoculate the trees. Prices vary but the shots average about $100. More information can be found on the website of the State DEC, www.dec.ny.gov, and at the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse at www.nyis.info.
“Inoculation lasts between 2 and 3 years,” Duquin added. “if you have an ash tree on your property it is time to call an arborist.”
Below: Image of Village of Williamsville tree that was infested by Emerald Ash Borer, including the larvae; courtesy of Village of Williamsville. Image of another infected tree still standing on Sheridan Drive in Amherst.